A plausible goal: one quarter of your spending on outside counsel being non-hourly billing?

Here is a challenge for all law departments: strive to have at least 25 percent of your law firm spending be on some basis other than hourly billing (or discounts from hourly billing). Previous posts have mentioned several methods (See my posts of May 24, 2006 about unit billing; Nov. 17, 2006 on alternative fee arrangements generally; and Oct. 10, 2006 with additional comments.). Another method, holdbacks, can work for large and small departments (See my post of Sept. 18, 2007 on holdbacks.).

True, large law departments might have the volume and consistency of work to be more amenable to alternative billing arrangements (See my post of July 25, 2007) and the difficulty of negotiating billing deals early on exists for everyone (See my post of July 27, 2007), but I think the 25 percent goal is completely achievable for every law department.

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